A recent statistics carried out by the Incentive-based Programme (IBP) of the Policy House International has revealed that over 800 school children were kidnapped within three months. It also raised the alarm that 60 schools remained shut in the North.
The Executive Director, IBP, Taiwo Akerele expressed concern that if the current trend was not checked, the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria might increase from the current 10.5 million to 13 million by December 2021.
A breakdown revealed 344 were kidnapped from Government Secondary School, Kankara, Kastina State; 27 from Government Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State and 300 girls were also abducted from Government Girls’ College, Kegere, Zamfara State. Others were taken from Afaka in Kaduna State.
He said: “From our records and estimate, close to 800 students have been kidnapped between December of 2020 and March 2021. This has also resulted in closure of boarding schools in, at least, three states over the period. Available data shows that over 60 schools in Niger, Zamfara, Katsina and parts of Kaduna and Sokoto states with, at least, an average of 600 students are affected by these closures.”
Akerele said although affected states had invested in basic infrastructure and school feeding, insecurity in the region had dampened educational enthusiasm among parents and children of school age.
He called on the government to accelerate the implementation of the lofty educational intervention programmes outlined under the Alternate School Programme (ASP) launched in January 2021.
He urged states to fast track their investment in perimeter fencing, local security arrangements and the deployment of technology in securing schools.